Women are more likely to struggle with fear and anxiety than men. We worry we’ll never meet the right guy and get married, we worry about our kids and whether they’ll pursue Jesus, we worry about our health, we worry about our finances, where we’ll live, what we look like, what others think of us. The list goes on and on. We can often justify worry as well, thinking it’s not so bad, it’s just something I do, it’s part of who I am. We all worry and tell ourselves it’s really not a big deal. But, ladies, it is a big deal. It’s unbelief. It’s wrong thinking of who God is. It’s not trusting God and His will for you. The Word tells us many times over to not fear, to not be anxious, and to not worry:
Why, even the hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not; you are of more value than many sparrows. – Luke 12:7
For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” – Isaiah 41:13
The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? – Psalm 118:6
[Cast] all your anxieties on Him, because He cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7
Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. – John 14:27
When we worry and fear, we directly disobey God’s commands. So what do we do?
Repent over and over, as you worry. I need to repent of this sin daily; in fact, multiple times a day when I’m really struggling. Along with repentance, there are other ways we can be reminded of God’s goodness: Listening to worship music and Christian podcasts (Nancy Wilson’s Femina podcast is my favorite) has proven helpful to get in the right mindset when I’m feeling stuck in my fears. But most important, of course, is spending time in the Word and in prayer on a daily basis, along with memorizing scripture.
Because I often struggle with fear and anxiety about my health, Philippians 4:4–7 is a passage I often go back to to remember God’s promise of peace:
Rejoice in the Lord always, again I will say rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Do you ever read Philippians 4:7 and wonder if that really applies to you? That something so wondrous and amazing could possibly really happen to you? Not only is peace promised, but a peace that surpasses all understanding. How glorious! In order to achieve this peace, however, Paul gives us something to do: rejoice! I know how hard it is to rejoice and jump for joy in Christ when I’m anxious, but this joy and rejoicing in the Lord will drive out the fear. It’s being replaced with God’s glory and power.
Paul also tells us to go to God in prayer to tell Him our requests and all the things He has blessed us with for which we are thankful. We cannot forget to give thanks to God. Every good thing I have has come from Him. Even in my worst moments, remembering God’s blessings has been a benefit to me.
This peace is not out of reach. If I truly trust in God and His promises, how could I ever doubt His care for me? He sent His son to die for me so I could have eternal life in Christ Jesus. How can I worry when I have such a promise on my heart?
Susannah Spurgeon sums it up well: Why should my heart be troubled or afraid? There is nothing on earth or in hell that can harm a soul who believes in Jesus. Every fear is put to flight by his perfect love.
Amen to that.